April Verch doesn’t just perform music, she exudes it! The internationally renowned Canadian fiddler, singer, songwriter and stepdancer has a passion for performing, and her goal is to touch the lives of those listening.
Charlotte’s Web for the Performing Arts will host her at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 21, at Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center, 415 N. Church St.
“The world is this amazing puzzle that we can’t fully understand, and music is the joy that pulls it all together and helps us make sense of it,” says Verch, with a dynamic excitement and confidence that validates her faith.
Multi-instrumentalist Dirk Powell says: “She’s so fluent in the language of music that she never needs to imitate. She hears the heart of it and lets that become part of her core. April’s just got that, man; she’s always speaking the language for real. She is a rare mix of all the technique and super-flashy things.”
Verch was born to flashy music, in Canada’s hard-working, hard-dancing Ottawa Valley. She was a local star at age 4, step dancing with her sister and winning awards at contests. She became the first woman in history to win both of Canada’s most prestigious fiddle championships, the Grand Masters and Canadian Open.
When Canada hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics, Verch represented her country’s music at the opening ceremonies.
Ottawa Valley music is a foot-stomping, open-minded fusion of Irish, Scottish, French, German and Polish influences, sprinkled with tangy spices of American country music. The twang of the banjo and the driving Franco-Celtic pulse of the fiddle are as ingrained in Verch as snowbound winters and Saturday dances.
“What makes the Ottawa Valley unique,” she says, “is that it’s melting-pot music. People there work hard, and when it was time to let loose, you went out and had fun together; you danced and played music.”
Verch is among the most in-demand performers in roots music today, both with her own crack three-piece band and Bowfire, with whom she occasionally tours.
The April Verch Band consists of Verch at the helm and world-class musicians Clay Ross on guitar and Cody Walters on upright-electric bass and banjo. They have toured across Canada, the U.S., the U.K., Europe, Australia and China. Together, they have established a reputation as consummate performers with boundless energy on stage that always thrills audiences.
Tickets are $18 in advance, $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at: Rockford Area Arts Council, 713 E. State, (815) 963-6765; both Postal Shoppe locations: Edgebrook Center, (815) 397-7301 and 2205 S. Perryville, (815) 484-0940; JustGoods, 201 Seventh St., (815) 965-8903; Nikki’s Café, 604 Pleasant St., Beloit, Wis., (608) 207-3101; or by mail: send a check and SASE to P.O. Box 765, Rockford, IL 61105-0765. Indicate artist or performance date on check. Credit card payment accepted only at www.charlotteswebofrockford.org via PayPal. A $1 ticket processing fee is included. Print your receipt. Info: (815) 964-2238 or www.CharlottesWebofRockford.org.
From the Jan. 18-24, 2012, issue